Winter 2022 Meeting Summary

Laverne Hays - Blackhawk Technical College

Laverne Hays


Friday morning began with an icebreaker - getting to know your ALO ! This got the sleep out of our eyes leading into our In-Service subject of Accreditation as nearly half of the trustees in attendance actually knew who the Accreditation Liaison Officer for their College was! Others had to think twice about their Mission statement or answer positively at what point in the ten-year accreditation cycle their college was at - or whether theirs was an open or a standard pathway!

Because of her experience with accreditation peer review teams, Dr. Christine Manion – knowing what Board members should know – presented us with Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Guidance for Boards.

The purpose of accreditation, which comes through the Department of Education, is to verify that institutions provide quality education. The Board’s role in accreditation is to make and document informed decisions. Dr Manion noted that the HLC will look at minutes of your meetings, and that it might be good to have a ‘Policy Review’ item on each agenda. It is also a good idea to stay out of negative headlines. Another good suggestion: Have a link to the HLC on your College website.

For additional resources and information, see : HLC Criteria

Before boarding the bus for a return to our hotel, we had the opportunity to visit the new MATC Automotive Center located on 6th street in the Deer District right across from the Fiserv Forum! No need for added exposure here!

During lunch, the 2022 Media Awards were announced. Congratulations to Kenny Johnson of WDIO TV (nominated by Northwood); Emily Matesic and Bill Kumbalek of WBAY TV (nominated by Fox Valley); and to Susan Simon of Channel 3000 – Madison (nominated by Madison College).

After lunch Dr Roger Stanford – Western – gave a report for the President’s Association. In thanking the WTCS, Layla Merrifield, and all of the Presidents for their achievement thus far, he noted there is still work to be done on implementing AA/AS degrees at our Colleges.

A presentation on M3 was given by Tony Tagliavia of MATC. This consortium between the Milwaukee high schools, MATC, and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is serving over 118000 students from thirteen area high schools. It uses a Project Management Model with advisory boards and steering committees, and boasts that 72% of participating students enroll in College directly from high school. For additional information see - M3 Transforming The Future of Milwaukee Through Education

M3 Transforming The Future of Milwaukee Through Education

At the evening banquet the 2022 MATC Student Ambassador, Samantha Shields who returned to MATC at the age of 54 to continue her education, shared her story.

Saturday morning the Annual meeting was held. Betty Bruski Mallek was re-elected as President on a unanimous 1st ballot. After a second tie-vote between current Vice-President Chuck Bolstad and Trustee John Lucas, John withdrew his candidacy and Chuck was re-elected. Three candidates were nominated for Secretary/Treasurer. A run-off was held with current Secretary-Treasurer Bill Duncan, John Lucas, and Erin Garney from CVTC seeking a nine-vote majority. Another vote was then held with Bill and John on the ballot, whereby Bill was re-elected.


John Lukas of Lakeshore was re-elected as Chair and Steve Decker of Northwood as Co-Chair of the Insurance Trust. DMI’s Risk Management Awards for IT and Cyber-Security were noted. The Employee Benefits Consortium is at nine members, but most colleges are associates as they buy in on some of the benefits.

Board of Directors meeting Saturday Morning

Action items included voting on the Corporate sponsorship program, approval of the revised Mission and Vision statement, and the 2022-23 budget.

Credit was given Layla for her efforts to discover and prevent detrimental legislation to our WTCS system – especially over the past year - and while relocating the office and hiring a new assistant. After thorough discussion there was a consensus that the new executive assistant was hired with a salary commensurate with experience which is above previous assistants, and in line with market data. Further, a 3% increase is in line with the CPI, is below inflation, and generally negligible compared with most college’s overall budgets. There was a vote of approval with ten of the thirteen members in the affirmative, two opposed, and one abstention.

Credit was given to Steve for continuing to source and implement improvements to our ability to see and hear during virtual sessions. In addition to our new Owl, he is now using two new Ankers with Bluetooth technology that improve the sessions. Steve will be sending out a Trustee Survey in the near future.

Another note of congratulations to Layla Merrifield for her Eagle Management Leadership Award from the College Provosts and Presidents for her efforts in making it possible for our Colleges to award AA/AS degrees and having transferrable credits for all of our students.

This was another important and well-coordinated presentation by DBA Assistant Director Steve Tenpas and our host Milwaukee Area Technical College team. They have worked on this presentation since January, and the outcome was an outstanding success. Our gracious thanks to them, Dr Vicki Martin, and the MATC Trustees, and congratulations on them becoming an ‘Hispanic Serving Institution’.

There were 40 in-person and 19 virtual attendees registered.

Moment of Discovery: Colleges can use some of the COVID relief funds to ‘square-up’ bad student loans.

The next District Board’s quarterly meeting will be held July 21st -23rd at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. There will be a new member orientation at that meeting.

There were forty-five attendees from Wisconsin at the San Diego ACCT Leadership Congress last fall. The next congress will be in NYC on October 27th – then Las Vegas in 2023 and Seattle in 2024.


View all past summaries by Laverne Hays